Not In Jersey: November 2016 November 2016 - Not In Jersey

November In Review

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It’s the last day of the month, so it’s time to review the month by the numbers! Things were relatively quiet during the first half of the month, but it ended with our epic road trip, which I’ll be blogging about at some point soon! I am once again linking up with Shoes To Shiraz for her monthly Numbers Link Up!

Birthdays Celebrated – 1:
Mine

Holidays Celebrated – 1:
Thanksgiving

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States Driven Through – 6:
Missouri | Illinois | Indiana | Kentucky | Tennessee | Georgia

Cities Slept In – 6:
Kingdom City, MO | Louisville, KY | Chattanooga, TN | Atlanta, GA | Nashville, TN | Mt. Vernon, IL

School Programs Attended – 3:
Spaghetti Dinner / Book Fair | Zachary’s Salute To The USA Program | Simon’s Art Show

Reviews Posted – 6:
The Book Of Heroines / Heroes | Ipsy | Jazz Loves Disney | Stainless Steel Fish Grill Basket | Bottlekeeper | YouCopia

Books Reviewed – 3

Linkups / Swaps Joined – 4
Fall Scarf Exchange | The Kids Behind The Blog | $10 at Target | This One

Days The Kids Were Off From School – 3, plus we missed 1 day extra.

Date Nights With Dave – 1

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Pounds Lost This Month (Net) – 2

Steps My Fitbit Counted In My Tuesday Class At The Gym – 2,200

Hours My Fitbit Said I Slept The First Night I Wore It – 6 hours, 59 minutes, with 2x awake, 15x restless, and 43 minutes awake / restless (I’m not sure this is accurate, because it says I went to sleep before I did!)

Fantasy Football Record – 7-5

TV Shows Completed – 3:
Friday Night Lights | Stranger Things | Gilmore Girls – A Year In The Life

Movies Seen – 1

Times Played Mah Jong – 2

Craft Projects Completed – 1, With Gabbie’s Help

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Items Finished From My Fall Bucket List – 3
Finish Knitting Vest | Celebrate My Birthday Thanksgiving

Items In My November Picture Folder – 404

Photos Posted On Instagram – 25

Total Blog Posts – 24

Happy Almost December!

It’s Okay #138

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

itsokay

It’s okay…

…that we’re back after a 6 day road trip through 6 states!

…that I have a ton of laundry to get through.

…that I sent the kids to school wearing winter coats yesterday and then it was 60 degrees.

…that after seeing it recommended everywhere, I ordered Understanding Exposure, Fourth Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Cameraby Bryan Peterson. I think I’m doing okay so far with the camera, but I have a ton more images to edit!

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…that I ordered myself a Fitbit. I wasn’t sure if I should replace my regular watch with the Fitbit, because I still love my regular watch, but then I realized I didn’t order a watch. It’s just an activity tracker!

…that even though I looked for multiple geocaches while traveling, I was only able to find one!

What’s okay with you this week?

Awesome Degree Ideas for Moms

Monday, November 28, 2016

Whether you are a mom who never got the chance to go to college or you are ready to re-enter the workplace with a more advanced degree than what you had before you got pregnant, there are a host of opportunities to learn new things and move into a field that you will enjoy. Check out the list of awesome degree ideas for moms below to get started.

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Health Communication Degree

Health communication is a dynamic field that combines the best of marketing techniques and health education. You can get a job promoting a health care facility, doctor, or health program, and you can use your marketing know-how to get important messages out to the masses effectively. If you think that this career would be an exciting one for you, you can get your online communications masters degree or your online masters of science in health communication from the best schools in the country, so you can study in the classroom or from home.

Education Degree

Do you love being around kids? Then a job in education could be the ideal path that you can take after you have your own children. You can go to school to get your degree in education and then you can take steps to become certified to teach on the elementary school level, the middle school level, or the high school level. Every state has different certification requirements, so do your research. Once you have this job, you will enjoy great hours and plenty of days off, including summers off, so you will be able to achieve a work-life balance that allows you to spend plenty of time with your kids as you watch them grow.

Design Degree

A degree in anything from graphic design to web design could also be a great option for moms who want to enter the workforce. If you are artistic and creative, and if you hope to develop a strong portfolio so that you can find your own clients, run your own business, and work from home while setting your own hours, this degree could be the best option for you. You can learn how to create winning websites, promotional materials, and much more with a degree in design, and you can enjoy the benefits of being in a creative career.

Business Degree

With a business degree, you can become qualified to work in a variety of jobs, and you can work your way up to earning a very high salary, especially if you eventually become a manager or executive. While the hours may not be the best when it comes to being a mom and achieving a good work-life balance, if you thrive in a business environment and you enjoy marketing, management, e-commerce, etc., a business degree will open the doors to a fulfilling career.

Just because you decided to start a family does not mean that you have to give up on your dreams of being a career woman. With the awesome degree options above, you can have it all.


This post was written by Bill Clark. Bill is a freelance journalist who specialises in writing about culture and the arts, however will write about anything that piques his interest including business, travel and lifestyle.  He can be reached on Twitter @BilboClark01.

Getting Organized With YouCopia + Giveaway

Although in the past I have claimed that organizing is something I enjoy, lately I have found it overwhelming. I open my cabinets and closets, look inside, and then close them again. Luckily, I was offered the chance to try products from YouCopia, a father-daughter run company that develops affordable, functional, easy-to-use, space-efficient, and unique solutions  for organizing spices, coffee, tea, oil and vinegar bottles, silverware, food storage containers, pot lids, bakeware, cutting boards, and more. Now that I have experienced the StoraStack for Drawers and the StoreMore Lid Holder, I want to try all of YouCopia’s products!

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The first area I wanted to tackle was the cabinet where we keep plastic containers. The cabinet is in an awkward location above the counter and I have a hard time getting things onto the shelves at all, much less in a semblance of order. The StoraStack for Drawers is meant to organize containers inside a drawer, not a cabinet, but I figured I could set it inside my cabinet as well. Sadly, I was incorrect, because it is too long to fit. Since I love the way it organizes containers and their lids, I made it work anyway!

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Before vs After.

  • Organizes 12 plastic food containers (not included) and matching lids
  • Fits standard kitchen drawers, 18.3-21.3"D x 7.4"W x 4.5"H (46,5-54,1 x 18,8 x 11,4 centimeters)
  • Fits containers from top grocery store brands (not twist or clip tops)
  • Dividers hold round, square or rectangular lids
  • Includes two clip dispensers
  • Expands to lock into standard kitchen drawers
  • No permanent mounting or installation required

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The StoraStack can be purchased via Target or YouCopia.

The StoreMore Lid Holder is meant for cabinets, and I set out to organize the cabinet where I keep pots and pans, plus their lids. Admittedly, our biggest pot is in the fridge right now, and because of our sliding cabinet shelves, the lid holder didn’t fit in the way I would have liked, so I may have to rearrange this again! The wire dividers on the organizer can be adjusted to fit various sizes and they can even fit pans, so that will be an option as well.

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  • Organizes pot, pan and bakeware lids
  • Measures 11.5"D x 7.3"W x 5.0"H (29,2 x 18,4 x 12,7 centimeters)
  • Seven (7) adjustable dividers have u-shaped bend to accommodate lid handles
  • Coated steel wires will not pop out or scratch lids
  • Round lids stay centered and won’t roll out
  • Soft non-slip feet hold base in place 
  • No mounting or installation required

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The StoreMore Lid Holder can be purchased via Target or YouCopia.

Now, if you are as impressed by YouCopia products as I am, you can enter to win a product of your choice!

Win a YouCopia product of your choice #1

Do you enjoy organizing or does it stress you out?

What I’ve Been Reading #141

Friday, November 25, 2016

Library

Also on in the article by Barbara Claypole White that I mentioned here in which she recommends 16 family dramas that would be excellent book club reads, was Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers.

“Maddy, a social worker, is trying to balance her career and three children, but her husband’s verbal furies have made the family wary and frightened. Where once his fiery passion had been reserved for defending his clients, now he’s lashing out at all of them. She vacillates between tiptoeing around him and asserting herself for the sake of their kids—keeping a fragile peace—until the rainy day when they’re together in the car and Ben’s volatile temper gets the best of him, leaving Maddy in the hospital fighting for her life.”

I found this book a bit sad, as the couple had a lot of difficulties in their relationship. The writing is good even while the story is frustrating because of the borderline emotionally abusive behavior of Ben, Maddy’s husband. While one might think that the accident would change Ben’s attitude for the better, in fact it led to even more trouble. Of course, a person can’t completely change because of a car accident and if he had, it might have been unrealistic! The story is told in alternating view points from Maddy, Ben, and their daughter Emma, who is 14. I enjoyed her perspective on the situation too, because as the oldest of 3 children, she was put in charge of the younger two, which was not easy for her. To see how this type of marriage effected all of them was very interesting. Also intriguing was that Maddy was a social worker who worked with abused women, and yet she was unable to see that her husband’s behavior was questionable as well.


My next book group meets this coming week and the book we chose to read was The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker. I have to say it is not the type of book I regularly read and in parts I kept falling asleep while trying to read it!

“A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present.  When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be…until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the reader’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.”

I found the setting of the story in Burma to be interesting, and the love story within to be heartbreaking, but the way the story was told was not compelling to me. The one part I enjoyed more than the rest was the revelation of who the character of U Ba actually was. I also found it frustrating that Tin Win was unable to follow his heart back to Burma earlier in his life story. I am curious to see how other members of my book group reacted to this book!

What have you been reading lately?

Zachary’s Salute To The USA Program

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

On Monday night, Zachary and his class, as well as the 5th graders, presented their Salute to the USA program. Each student studied and wrote about a state and at the program, they sang patriotic songs and we saw videos about each of the regions of the USA. Like Gabbie had done when she was in 4th grade, Zachary studied New Jersey!

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(You’ll have the forgive the graininess of some of my photos. I’m using a new lens and my ISO was set too high, I think.)

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Zachary is the 2nd from the right in the first row.

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Unlike when Gabbie did this program, the kids did not have to dress in costumes representing their states, and instead dressed in white tops and blue bottoms.

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Zachary had a speaking part.

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Also unlike Gabbie’s program, where the kids did live skits, instead the kids made videos about their regions and they were played for all of us.

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After the performance, we were able to view the projects that the kids had made to represent their states, and they all put on the hats they made in lieu of costumes. Zachary wore a farmer hat because NJ is the Garden State.

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For his projects, he made a boardwalk from popsicle sticks and using kinetic sand, and a garden from clay.

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I also took some photos of a few of the other very cool projects that other kids made!

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Alaska

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Arizona

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California

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Florida

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Maine

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Minnesota

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North Carolina

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Texas – such a fun model of San Antonio!

As always, I loved seeing the kids’ hard work pay off in a fun performance and in all of their projects!